Little Saplings

2 - 3 Years

Little Saplings

Our older toddler childcare classroom allows children more opportunity for growth and development though the use of activity centers and structured playtime. Circle time and preschool teacher led activities also become a larger part of the preschool daily schedule. Greater independence emerges at this age and children are given opportunities to explore and learn with little interference. Another big milestone of this year is potty training. Learning Tree Preschool staff is well trained in this area and works closely with parents to help their child reach this important goal. Children MUST be potty trained before entering the next class.

Schedule a Tour Enroll

Meet Your Little Sapling

There is probably no cuter stage, nor more challenging group than our lovable, engaging and passionate Little Saplings.

  • Little Saplings (2 years- 3 years old) are typically “into everything” and move at the speed of lightening! They are curious, emotional and demanding and their highs and lows are exhausting for parents and daycare teachers. They learn very quickly and are beginning to see themselves as separate from their parents and their peers as potential playmates.
  • This age group, particularly in a group setting, requires enormous patience, a calm and steady temperament and lots of activities ready to go! Successful Little Saplings childcare teachers are flexible- well planned lessons must be shortened or lengthened at a moments notice. Little Saplings are tactile learners and engage all the senses more than any other age group. They taste, smell and touch just about everything, so our preschool teachers are extra diligent about safety in our Little Saplings daycare classrooms.
  • Little Saplings love to roam, climb, run and although they are optimistic about their skills, many times don’t fully have the gross or fine motor muscles and eye hand coordination to succeed right away. This leads to frustration, particularly since language development is emerging continually. A patient daycare teacher is essential and must take a step back and assess the child and the group continually asking, “Is this a successful activity?”, and, “How can I adapt this to meet all my student’s needs?”
  • They want independence...but still need a hug from Mommy and Daddy. Two-year-olds are in the amazing space of journeying out of toddlerhood and wanting so badly to be a big kid, yet not quite ready to take on the badge of all things three. Nor should they!
  • Twos learn with and from each other, model after parents and preschool teachers and develop their skills very quickly with guidance and close attention from caregivers during day.
  • Two-year-olds have very strong emotions and are working to use their language, physical and social skills to let us know what their needs and wants are!
  • Socially two-year-olds love to interact with caregivers at preschool and with family and friends. And they spend as much time interacting with others as they do on their own- both experiences help them assimilate their world. Caring teachers provide time for both elements.

Little Sapling Care

  • Provide consistent, nurturing and experienced childcare teachers, with a focus on consistent daily routines in the daycare classroom.
  • We work as a team with parents to maintain the child’s schedule, and work to limited visitors and distractions in preschool classroom to begin Pre-School Prep.
  • We provide plenty of time outside to explore and learn.
  • Offer numerous tactile and sensory exploration opportunities through the week.
  • Encourage “side by side” play with preschool teacher supervision, and childcare teacher modeling of activities to ensure optimal safety and one on one.
  • We work to build “over and over” activities to gain confidence in each child’s abilities.
  • Encourage children to express themselves with words.
  • Maintain strong communication with parents (Smartcare daily written notes, face to face, newsletters).
  • Our Little Saplings program carefully considers the developmental needs of those wonderful toddlers in several ways: but first their emotional, physical and social needs.
  • Outdoor Classrooms- If any age group needs to explore the great outdoors in small increments throughout the day it’s the twos! Partly because their attention span is short but mostly because they need to get the wiggles out continually, our Outdoor Classroom is just the ticket for high quality early childhood leadership. Unlike your average day care, Learning Tree is a preschool all the way!
  • Pacing- In early childhood education, pacing is important. We have the luxury of planning high quality activities for two-year-olds with group and individual needs in mind.
  • We value the concept of “looking to the child” for guidance regarding individual and group interests and love that we can allow longer time for favorite activities.
  • We have a structured schedule because of course twos need ample potty-training support and need a combination of busy, active time and also plenty of time alone.
  • Flexibility with daily schedule and lesson plans within a structured and predictable day.
  • Looking to each individual child as well as the needs and interests of the group as a whole is important in delivering a high-quality day in care.
  • Learning Tree provides a structured and predictable schedule allowing children to know the basic flow of the day including greeting and arrival time, potty and diapering, hand washing and snack, outdoor classroom time, lunch and nap prep and end of the day dismissal. The learning and play elements in between those areas have flexibility which allows children to explore an activity longer or move to something more interesting quickly.
  • Our preschool teachers and assistants work with each other to ensure each child is nurtured and challenged according to their pace, interests and abilities, which can change daily!
  • Utilizing Smartcare’s daily notes parents can get continual updates on how their little one is doing each day, something that eases guilt and worry from parents especially at first. We take pictures of your little one having fun and give you details about his/her day. You can communicate with us using the Smartcare app which keeps us all in the loop!

What Makes the Little Saplings Program is so successful?

  • Our goal is to keep toddlers moving and stimulated throughout the day within small groups with a balance of one on one time alone or with the daycare teacher. This along with side by side play with friends and small groups help to initiate early learning.
  • Little Saplings have a short attention span and are into everything- we recognize that and challenge them to be fully engaged.
  • The continual movement concept has merit- Little Saplings play till they drop!
  • Because we get to know each child so well, we individualize and either shorten or extend an activity so one friend can play longer in a favorite area while another can move on!
  • It balances active and quiet play with childcare teacher guided and child-initiated activities- both important for early learning and development!
  • Given the speed in which children develop their receptive vocabulary, we talk, talk, talk! We use normal adult vocabulary, ask questions to promote reception and speak in correct and grammatical English. We identify objects in the room and in our books and we name them, model the pronunciation and encourage our toddlers to say them.
  • Until children are approximately 18 months, they typically express themselves using one word at a time, making themselves understood with pointing, voice inflection and emotions. From 18 months, most children begin to experiment with combining several words to form phrases or short sentences to express themselves more fully.
  • For children 12-24 months, it is essential that adults model correct pronunciation for children and translate as necessary in a positive, encouraging manner.

Our Little Saplings program offers a full time option only for $250.00 per week.

We require an annual $100.00 registration/supply fee per child.
Tuition and Enrollment Policies
  • Batteries: AA, C, D, or AAA
  • Bibs: Baby Bjorn
  • Blanket: No larger than standard "throw" and must fit in cubby
  • Board Books: Girls - 2 Books
  • Change of Clothing: 2 sets
  • Crayons: 1 Box of Jumbo Crayons
  • Sippy Cups: Three "The First Years" - Take and Toss Cups (4 Pack)
  • Diapers: If needed
  • Glue Sticks: 2 Jumbo Sticks
  • Markers(washable): 1 pack of fat markers
  • Washable Finger Paints: Girls - Primary Colors; Girls - Secondary Colors
  • Paint set, water color, 8 basic colors: Girls
  • Photos
  • Playdough
  • Shoes
  • Plastic Container: Shoebox sized
  • Tissues: Three 200 ct. boxes
  • Trash Bags: Three packs of 4 gal. or smaller
  • Baby Wipes: 2 Packs and as needed
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Wooden Puzzle, 5 pieces or less; age appropriate: Boys
  • Ziplocks: 1 box sandwich size and 1 box gallon size
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM Arrival/Free Choice/Routine Care
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Free Choice/Optional Teacher Directed Activity
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM Wash Hands/Morning Snack/Free Choice/Routine Care
9:45 AM - 10:30 AM Outside Play/Learning Time
10:30 AM - 11:15 AM Small Group Time/Wash Hands/Routine Care
11:15 AM - 11:50 AM Lunch Time
11:50 AM - 12:45 PM Circle Time/Routine Care
12:45 PM - 1:00 PM Mats Down
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Rest Time/Quiet Free Time
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Afternoon Snack
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM Outside Play
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM Wash Hands/Free Choice/Visitor Activites
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Activity/Free Choice/Routine Care
5:30 PM Center Closed

Routine care is done on an individual schedule or as needed. Diapering is done every 1.5 to 2 hours or as needed.

If we can't go outside then physical activites will be provided in the classroom. Such as a pop-up tunnel, music and movement, dramatic play, blocks, obstacles, etc.

Activity will include music, art, manipulative, story time, reading, writing, and math tasks.

For successful toilet training daycare teachers and parents should communicate frequently. Children will be taken to the potty when they show interest. Often if one child is being potty trained; other children will be interested and follow along. Please be sure to practice washing hands after each visit to the bathroom.

Children will not be punished for not using the toilet ("accidents"), as a body awareness and learning progress at different rates for different children. Your child may be ready around age 2, or not until 3 years old. If a child is in the preschool classroom and struggles with self-toileting we may recommend that parents seek advice from a developmental pediatrician or other qualified healthcare provider. Children in the childcare classroom should be making steady progress in this development to continue successfully in a group daycare classroom environment.